Queens Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 19, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Addabbo Honors Renowned Forest Hills Court Reporting Program

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Sen. Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) recently visited Plaza College in Forest Hills to celebrate the institution’s renowned Court Reporting program, among the leaders in preparing students for careers in this rapidly growing industry. 

A serious nationwide shortage of court reporters already exists, a problem that will only become worse with impending retirements, as court reporters are on average 53 years old. 

Every February, National Court Reporting and Captioning week honors court stenographers and recognizes their invaluable contributions to the law. Senator Addabbo presented Plaza College with a proclamation to commend its dedication to educating young men and women with the most efficient technology in RealTime writing, providing them with the skill to become professional court reporters. 

During his visit to Plaza College, Senator Addabbo discussed his appreciation for the industry and the individuals who create an accurate record of the official spoken word. 

“Court reporting and captioning is a vital skill that helps keep an accurate account of what takes place in courtrooms, and even in the State Legislature, as well as informing the deaf and hard-of-hearing with the necessary information they need,” said Addabbo, Jr. “It was a privilege to honor Plaza College with a proclamation recognizing their wonderful Court Reporting and Captioning program during National Court Reporting and Captioning Week, and the hard-working students who help make that program a success. I truly appreciate Plaza College’s commitment to the quality, diverse educational programs it offers.”

Constantinides Nabs New Queens Democrats Endorsement for BP

City Council Member Costa Constantinides

New Queens Democrats, a grassroots political club formed to make local politics more inclusive, has endorsed City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, East Elmhurst, part of Long Island City, Rikers Island, part of Woodside) as the progressive choice to become Queens Borough President. 

“My vote to support Costa was an easy one. Of all candidates running for the office, Costa is the only one with a plan on how to use the significant staff and funding the City allocates to the Borough President’s office effectively in service to our community,” said Jesse Rose, treasurer for New Queens Democrats. “Costa’s leadership on climate ranks him among the most environmentally conscious legislators in the world. His plan to prepare Queens County for climate change is ambitious and necessary. He is the definition of a leader, the epitome of hard work, and the right person at the right time for this office. Having lived within Costa’s district throughout his tenure as Council Member, I have personally witnessed his many efforts to engage with the community, assist constituents, and ensure that those who are un-engaged in the political process still have a voice. I am proud to support him in his run and look forward to seeing the great things I am sure he will accomplish in his role as Borough President.”

“New Queens Democrats has become a beacon for the progressive movement —  one that has brought more people into the democratic process,” said Constantinides. “Their mission has inspired our movement to transform Queens into a fairer place for the 2.3 million people who call this wonderful borough home. I am honored they have joined Team Costa.” 

The volunteer-run organization is affiliated with both the New York Progressive Action Network and Our Revolution. Its members have promoted transparency, accountability, justice, and equity in the borough’s politics — especially when it comes to the Queens  County Democratic Party. 

Richards Nabs Hotel Trades Council Endorsement For BP

City Councilmember Donovan Richards

The New York Hotel Trades Council this past weekend endorsed City Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens) for Queens Borough President.

“On behalf of our 40,000 members, I am very proud to announce our union’s endorsement of Donovan Richards for Queens Borough President,” said Peter Ward, President of the New York Hotel Trades Council. “Since the day he took office, Council Member Richards has been there for our union. Whether it was fighting together to preserve affordable housing, or to protect the rights of hotel workers, Council Member Richards has stood with our members time and again. We are excited to be there for him now, and look forward to helping elect a Borough President who truly understands the needs of working people.”

“The rights of working people are being threatened across our city and we must stand together to fight back. Members of the New York Hotel Trades Council have seen these actions first hand, which is why I’m proud to have stood with them to fight unscrupulous hotel owners who threaten their livelihoods. In our changing borough, workers deserve good paying jobs that provide stability for them and their families. I’ll work to bring those jobs and opportunities back to Queens. I thank the members of HTC for their support and will always continue to stand by them and all working people,” said Richards.

Richards has also been endorsed by DC 37, Local 372, UFT, and 32BJ. 

The special election for Queens Borough President is slated for Tuesday, March 24.

Braunstein Annual Valentines for Vets Gift Drive Sets Record                            

Assembly Member Edward Braunstein

Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) announced that the community’s 24th Annual Valentines for Vets Gift Drive once again broke a new record for donations honoring hospitalized veterans for the sacrifices they have made to defend our nation. 

Braunstein’s office co-sponsors the drive along with the law offices of Ann-Margaret Carrozza, and Community Board 11.

Thousands of donations of handwritten cards, candy, new clothing items, playing cards, puzzles, and toiletries were received from 30 schools across Northeast Queens, as well as civic organizations, libraries, Girl Scout troops, and many local residents. 

The gifts were delivered on Valentine’s Day by Assemblyman Braunstein, his staff, and students and faculty from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, to the hospitalized men and women at the St. Albans VA Community Living Center and the New York State Veterans’ Home at St. Albans.

“I would like to thank everyone who participated, especially our local schools, for their overwhelming support for this year’s Valentines for Vets Gift Drive. These donations, which were the most received in the 24-year history of our community’s Valentines for Vets program, helped to brighten the day of hundreds of veterans by showing that we care about them and appreciate their sacrifices,” said Braunstein.

Ocasio-Ortez To Host Census Town Hall

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-North Central Queens, parts of the Bronx) this weekend will be hosting a community town hall in East Elmhurst.

The Congresswoman and census officials will discuss the upcoming census. Also appearing will be  NYC Census 2020 Director Julie Menin and US Census Bureau’s New York Regional Office Director Jeff Behler.

The town hall is slated for 2-4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Louis Armstrong Middle School, 32-02 Junction Blvd. in East Elmhurst.